JREnsey Blog January 2021

Thanks for joining us today. If it is cold where you are, grab a cuppa and let’s spend a few minutes together online.

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The First Word

“This includes you who were once far away from God. You were his enemies, separated from him by your evil thoughts and actions. Yet now he has reconciled you to himself through the death of Christ in his physical body. As a result, he has brought you into his own presence, and you are holy and blameless as you stand before him without a single fault. But you must continue to believe this truth and stand firmly in it. Don’t drift away from the assurance you received when you heard the Good News. The Good News has been preached all over the world, and I, Paul, have been appointed as God’s servant to proclaim it” (Colossians 1:21-24 NLT).

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Were the readers of Proverbs 30:4 expected to know God’s name and also His Son’s name?

The passage reads in the KJV: “Who hath ascended up into heaven, or descended? who hath gathered the wind in his fists? who hath bound the waters in a garment? Who hath established all the ends of the earth? What is his name, and what is his son’s name, if thou canst tell?”

We have seen this verse quoted in the context of discussions of Oneness or God’s name and His Son’s name. Actually, this scripture is not asking about God or His Son’s name, but it is asking a rhetorical question in making a comparison between God and mere men. Is there a man among mortals who can do these mighty feats or has access to the heavenly realm as does the Creator? The unstated but obvious answer is…of course not. Agur, the writer of the proverb, is simply speaking of how much higher are God’s ways than men’s. The question is not concerning God’s name or His Son’s name, but a man’s name—if there be such a one that can do these things.

Reading from the NLT, or most any modern version, the idea of discerning God’s name or that of His Son disappears: “Who but God goes up to heaven and comes back down? Who holds the wind in his fists? Who wraps up the oceans in his cloak? Who has created the whole wide world? What is his name—and his son’s name? Tell me if you know!”

Anyone know a man who can fill that bill? I trow not.

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Cancel culture in Bible times

The cancel culture is nothing new. King Jeroboam decided that the worship of Yahweh was outdated needed replacing, or at least placed among the other gods to be worshiped. In adding idols set for veneration, he embarked on a culture cancelling effort. In the process, he “made Israel to sin” (I Kings 14:16), an accusation repeated in the Scriptures nine times. “No need to go to Jerusalem to the Temple to worship,” he said. “You can save time and steps by worshiping right here in the north. We have some great images here that you can worship: “He made other gods and molten images” for them. Rehoboam in Judah acted similarly: “They also built them high places, and images, and groves, on every high hill, and under every green tree. And there were also sodomites in the land: and they did according to all the abominations of the nations” (I Kings 14:23,24).

We should not forget the possibility that a cancel culture can go the other way too. During the reign of young Josiah, the word of the Lord was recovered and read. As a result, “[H]e put down the idolatrous priests, whom the kings of Judah had ordained to burn incense in the high places in the cities of Judah, and in the places round about Jerusalem; them also that burned incense unto Baal, to the sun, and to the moon, and to the planets, and to all the host of heaven.  And he brought out the grove from the house of the Lord, without Jerusalem, unto the brook Kidron, and burned it at the brook Kidron, and stamped it small to powder, and cast the powder thereof upon the graves of the children of the people.  And he brake down the houses of the sodomites, that were by the house of the Lord, where the women wove hangings for the grove.  And he brought all the priests out of the cities of Judah, and defiled the high places where the priests had burned incense, from Geba to Beersheba, and brake down the high places of the gates that were in the entering in of the gate of Joshua the governor of the city, which were on a man’s left hand at the gate of the city” (II Kings 23:5-8). So those who cancel a culture should remember that theirs can also be cancelled when God’s cup get full.

For every Jeroboam or Rehoboam, there is a Josiah somewhere. May God raise him up.

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Let’s think about other stuff for awhile. How about this stuff:

♦ I read that 653,237 people got married last year. Not to cause any trouble but shouldn’t that be an even number?

♦ America is a country which produces citizens who will cross the ocean to fight for democracy but won’t cross the street to vote.

♦ Did you know that dolphins are so smart that within a few weeks of captivity, they can train people to stand on the very edge of the pool and throw them fish?

♦ My therapist says I have a preoccupation with vengeance. We’ll see about that.

♦ You’re not fat, you’re just…easier to see.

♦ If you think nobody cares whether you’re alive, try missing a couple of payments.

♦ My therapist said that my narcissism causes me to misread social situations. I’m pretty sure she was hitting on me.

♦ My 60-year kindergarten reunion is coming up soon and I’m worried about the 175 pounds I’ve gained since then.

♦ Denny’s has a slogan, “If it’s your birthday, the meal is on us.” If you’re in Denny’s and it’s your birthday, your life stinks!

♦ The pharmacist asked me my birth date again today. I’m pretty sure she’s going to get me something.

♦ The location of your mailbox shows you how far away from your house you can be in a robe before you start looking like a mental patient.

♦ Money can’t buy happiness, but it keeps the kids in touch!

Now, go have a nice day!

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I’ve learned…

Another anonymous person with a few years on him or her, and who knew how to say a lot in just a few words, wrote the following:

I’ve learned…that the best classroom in the world is at the feet of an elderly person.

I’ve learned…that when you’re in love, it shows.

I’ve learned…that just one person saying to me, ‘You’ve made my day!’ makes my day.

I’ve learned…that having a child fall asleep in your arms is one of the most peaceful feelings in the world.

I’ve learned…that being kind is more important than being right.

I’ve learned…that you should never say no to a gift from a child.

I’ve learned…that I can always pray for someone when I don’t have the strength to help him in some other way.

I’ve learned…that no matter how serious your life requires you to be, everyone needs a friend to act goofy with.

I’ve learned…that sometimes all a person needs is a hand to hold and a heart to understand.

I’ve learned…that simple walks with my father around the block on summer nights when I was a child did wonders for me as an adult.

I’ve learned…that life is like a roll of toilet paper. The closer it gets to the end, the faster it goes.

I’ve learned…that we should be glad God doesn’t give us everything we ask for.

I’ve learned…that money doesn’t buy class.

I’ve learned…that under everyone’s hard shell is someone who wants to be appreciated and loved.

I’ve learned…that to ignore the facts does not change the facts.

I’ve learned…that when you plan to get even with someone, you are only letting that person continue to hurt you.

I’ve learned…that love, not time, heals all wounds.

I’ve learned…that only smart people learn. 

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The way we were

To all of you who survived the 1930’s, 40’s, 50’s, 60’s or 70’s as kids!!

First, we survived being born to mothers who took aspirin, ate blue cheese dressing and tuna from a can—all while pregnant—and didn’t get tested for diabetes.

Then after that trauma, we were put to sleep on our tummies in baby cribs covered with brightly colored lead-based paints.

We had no childproof lids on medicine bottles, doors or cabinets and when we rode our bikes, we had no helmets, not to mention, the risks we took hitchhiking.

As infants & children, we would ride in cars with no car seats, booster seats, seat belts or air bags.

Riding in the back of a pick up on a warm day was always a  special treat.  Sometimes if Dad was driving slowly on a seldom traveled back road, we’d even sit on the sides of the bed of the truck!

We drank water from the garden hose and NOT from a bottle.

We shared one soft drink with four friends, from one bottle and NO ONE actually died from this.

We ate cupcakes, white bread and real butter and drank Kool-aid made with sugar, but we weren’t overweight because, we were always outside playing!

We would leave home in the morning and play all day, as long as we were back when the streetlights came on.

No one was able to reach us all day. And we were O.K.

We would spend hours building our go-carts out of scraps and then ride down the hill, only to find out we forgot the brakes. After running into the bushes a few times, we learned to solve the problem.

We did not have Playstations, Nintendos, X-boxes, no video games at all, no 150 channels on cable, no video movies or DVD’s, no surround-sound or CD’s, no cell phones, no personal computers, no Internet at all…….

WE HAD FRIENDS and we went outside and found them!

We fell out of trees, got cut, broke bones and teeth, and there were no lawsuits from these accidents.

Playgrounds were for playing and learning how to get along—not for forming gangs and bullying and pushing kids around.

We ate worms and mud pies made from dirt, and the worms did not live in us forever.

We were given BB guns for our 10th birthdays, made up games with sticks and tennis balls and, although we were told it would happen, we did not put out any eyes.

We rode bikes or walked to a friend’s house and knocked on the door or rang the bell, or just walked in and talked to them!

Little League had tryouts and not everyone made the team. Those who didn’t had to learn to deal with disappointment. Imagine that!!

The idea of a parent taking up for us if we broke the law was unheard of. They actually sided with the law and we paid for it with some heinie skin!

These generations have produced some of the best risk-takers, problem solvers and inventors ever!

The past 50 years have been an explosion of innovation and new ideas. We had freedom, failure, success and responsibility, and we learned HOW TO DEAL WITH IT ALL!

If YOU are one of them, CONGRATULATIONS!

Kind of makes you want to run through the house with scissors, doesn’t it?!

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Book review

Great Lives, Great Deeds

80 brief biographies of outstanding men and women in history. Maybe the best book buy on the Net.

Published by Reader’s Digest Ass’n, 1964; 576 pages

Here’s a book that should be in every home. If I was marooned on an island and could have only five books, this would probably be one of them. I have given them as gifts. Since they are out of print, you can only find them used on the Net, most under $8. They are worth whatever the price. The stories are of the men and women who dared and did, who fought and won, with the kind of grit and grace which impacted the world and made a difference. In these pages is an education—history, geography, philosophy, science, music, language, civics, common sense—all this and more. You may cry a little, laugh a little, and for sure you will be inspired.

It was written before the cancel culture came along to deny our youth the opportunity to know about these great men and women. it’s not a religious tome, but there are a few included who were people of faith. It showcases the indomitable human spirit, desire that cannot be denied, and determination that can overcome any obstacle to achieve that which is worthy. I wish every teen had this book, although if their teacher or dean discovers that they have it, they might confiscate and burn it.

Get it. Read it to your young children. Require your teens to read it. Keep it on your nightstand and read it along with your BIble for motivation and inspiration.  –  JRE

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The most impacting book on my life

Someone asked me once what book, other than the Bible, has had the greatest impact on my life. The decision was difficult to make until I remembered a book that came into my hands in January 1965. Written by Gene Edwards, it was called How to Have A Soul Winning Church. It was timely for me. It had the “how to” for personal evangelism of that period, along with the inspiration to help individuals and churches follow through with effective programs. In other words, its burning pages were afire with both the mechanics and the dynamics of personal evangelism. I read most of it on my knees with tears in my eyes. I knew this was what God wanted from His church right then. I was never the same. Truth had grabbed me and wouldn’t let me go. I made it my business to help those who cared to become the soulwinners they wanted to be.

What book stirred your soul to action? What book opened your eyes, shook your spirit, and wouldn’t turn you loose until you had surrendered to its message? Share it with me and I will share it with our readers in a future blog.

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The best soul winning aid produced in the last 25 years.

IHMLCoverInto His Marvelous LightOne hour Bible study

Only $1.75 each up to 49 copies, 1.50 each from 50-99 copies, and only 1.25 for orders IHML_GFL_Revisedof 100 or more. Follow-up study for new converts, Guide For Living, is the same price.

Still the best soulwinning tool you can use!

Order online at www.advanceministries.org/ or phone 936-537-0250.

 

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Words from our babies

“All I got for Christmas….”

 

“Long enough to figure that Covid-19 should be renamed the Common Core Virus because none of the math is adding up.” “Right, and something else…you know those fact-checkers didn’t exist until the truth starting gettin’ out!”

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The Last Word

“Give me a sense of humor, Lord,

Give me grace to see a joke;

To get some happiness from life

And pass it on to other folk.”

          -The Treasure Chest

Be true. Do the right thing. Stay free. Be saved.

Happy New Year!

JREnsey

Published in: on January 1, 2021 at 1:11 AM  Leave a Comment  

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